May 17, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
On the strength of four more event titles during the day, the University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams concluded a historic 2014 Mountain West Outdoor Championships by finishing fifth and fourth, respectively, at Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex. The Cowgirls tallied 94 points for their highest finish since 2005 and most points since 2004, while the Cowboys earned 110 points for their highest finish since 2010 and second-most points ever at the MW outdoor meet.
Sophomore Kereston Thomas was part of two MW titles on Saturday. She paced the 100-meter field in a school-record 11.57, while combining with Jenna Mann, Taylor Gardner and Audrey West to win the 4x100-meter relay in 45.32 for the second-fastest time in Cowgirl history. Gardner had a victory of her own by running 58.52 in the 400-meter hurdles, UW's second championship in the event in the last four seasons. Senior Mason Finley was UW's other victory on Saturday with a facility-record throw of 60-11 1/4 in the shot put to rank fifth in Cowboy history. Wyoming's seven total titles this year are the most it has ever captured at one conference meet, indoors or outdoors.
"This meet really showed how far our program has come," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "From where both teams finished last time we hosted in 2009 to see the heart and pride that our teams showed today is impressive. Both our men and women were right in the mix today and, if one or two things go differently, they both have very special days. The women were a half-point away from tying their best finish ever at the outdoor meet."
Thomas is the first Cowgirl ever to win the 100 meters at the conference meet and is the first Cowgirl with two victories at one conference meet since Shauna Smith in 2005. Thomas also finished runner-up in the 200 meters on Saturday in 23.97. Finley is the first Cowboy to accomplish two conference titles at one meet since Jeremiah James in 2010.
"We knew coming in that we had a small group of key competitors that had to be big for us and they were," Berryhill said. "Those seven titles were huge for us, but our job as a coaching staff now is to go out and get more kids in here that can fill in those holes so we can move up the standings even more."
The Cowgirls hung around third for most of the day and were in line to tie their best finish ever, but were nipped by half a point in the final team totals by Colorado State. Sophomore McKenzie Brogan was third in the 400 meters in a personal-best 55.64 for ninth in UW history, while freshman Kerry White ran a personal-best 2:10.00 for fourth in the 800 meters and third in school history.
The Cowboys started the day in second and were in third until nearly the last event as well. Graduate student Harry Fisher was second in the 800 meters, as he ran 1:49.86 and lost by just two thousandths of a second. Freshman Jordan Charles was second in the 110-meter hurdles in a personal-best 14.11 to stay sixth in school history in the event. Charles was sixth in the 100 meters in a personal-best 10.67 to move to ninth in UW history. Senior Garrett Zans led a trio of Cowboys to score in the 5,000 meters in a personal-best 14:06.26 for fourth. His time ranks seventh in Wyoming history, while sophomore Amos Bowen notched a PR of 14:07.20 for eighth in UW history and fifth in the race. Junior Aaron Derner ran a career-best 14:15.62 for seventh in the race. Sophomore Scott Carter finished third in the triple jump at 50-2 1/2.
Wyoming now waits to see which student-athletes qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries on May 29-30 in Fayetteville, Ark. The field for that event will be announced on Thursday.